It used to be one of the best photo opportunities in Bath’s historic Circus – maybe Britain’s first roundabout and certainly the most impressive Georgian residential development in the city.
There used to be a bench – perched on the edge of the circular lawn with its five giant London Plane trees – and looking down Gay Street. Seat your partner upon it, then get behind and take a shot looking down the hill.
Then suddenly – it wasn’t there. Turns out repeating, late night rowdy behaviour – around said seat – was too much for the local residents association who asked B&NES to take it away.
Now Bath Newseum has been approached to find out what happened to the seat. Seems it had been donated and even had a memorial plaque upon it.
I had heard a whisper the Council’s Parks Department had taken it to Victoria Park and put in a call to the Guildhall.
Confirmation came today with the following official comment:
“Yes, I can confirm the bench was relocated to the play area in Royal Victoria Park. This was following consultation with the Circus Residents Association.”
Thank you for this detective work, but the point is that this was a well-loved, well-used seat in a very convenient place for tourists. The Circus Residents’ Association may have thought this was a good solution, but I understand not all the residents do. And was the family of the people commemorated on the plaque consulted?
This seems to be a heavy-handed response to a minor problem which surely could have been better tackled. But complaining about ‘noisy people’ has been a popular excuse for getting rid of facilities deemed to lower the tone for a very long time in Bath. It’s why we never had the proposed funicular railway up through Hedgemead Park (what an attraction that would be now) and why roundabouts were barred from Sydney Gardens.
‘ …. repeating, late night rowdy behaviour.’ That’ll be Bath’s ‘ night-time economy’, then.
There used to be a couple of elderly guys who’d always be sitting on that bench at about 6.30 in the evening as I walked past.
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